Something Creepy This Way Comes…

No, not that guy from the next block, the one who alternates between asking if you know Jesus and inviting you to vote for Eugene V. Debs for president.

If you think that “The Dinosaurs” from Carnival of the Animals sounds like this, well… you are quite correct.

Berlioz may have been thinking of the Dance of Death, the Totentanz paintings showing a long line of kings, peasants, bishops, farm women, merchants, knights, beggars, all led by skeletal forms explaining that all must die no matter their rank or station.

But the dead are not the only ones dancing… the “Kindly Ones” also have their time.

But these are not what most people think of as classical music for Halloween. No, it is either Leopold Stokowski’s orchestration of Bach’s Tocata and Fugue in D minor, or a piece of music actually inspired by Walpurgisnacht, and illustrated with the Russian legends about Chernobog.



Good Morning, Instapundit Readers! Have a spooky and well-watered Halloween.

Drink more water. I know this. I forgot this. I am now nursing a cracked thumb.

On average I need at least 100 ounces of water and other non-sweet, non-milk liquids a day. I live in a dry climate, and I happen to be “wetter” than a lot of people. I am not diabetic or pre-diabetic. I just need a lot of water to be happy.

Last week I ran low. Continue reading

Bonifice and Lioba or It Takes a Saxon

October 22 is the feast of St. Lioba Abbess. She is one of those saints who predates the official system of canonization, as is St. Boniface. Both were Saxons from Wessex who went to the Wild East to convert/reconvert/keep from backsliding the continental Saxons in the generation before Charlemagne. They are an interesting pair and show some of the difficulties Christianity faced in northern Europe. And they both must have wondered on occasion if “…make disciples of every nation” really applied to Saxons and Danes, or if there was an exception clause somewhere. Continue reading

If Flood Gage Under Water…

or Why Amarillo’ Police Department has a Dive Team.

By all common sense, Amarillo should need a police high-water rescue team about as much as does, oh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. However, almost from the beginnings of highways and paved roads, the city had an underpass problem. We have a number of rather steep, deep underpasses because the railroad tracks came first, and then the roads were dug out from under them when traffic became too heavy. And these underpasses catch water. Continue reading

October ’18 State of the Author

A bit numb, because I finished the draft of Merchant and Empire on Saturday.  Now I’ve got to catch up on Day-Job reading and polish some things because academic competitions are starting to kick in, and I need to have students ready to go in January.

At the moment, the writing plan is to focus on Miners and Empire for November and get 50K words done on it. Since I average 2000 words per day, it is doable. A lot of the scenes and story are already in my mental files ready to go, and I have all the technical data on hand. For those who liked “The Scavenger’s Gift,” this is set in that area. It looks at how cities become free cities, and how society balanced competing interests, in this case farmers and miners. Continue reading

Think, Thought, Thwim?

Due to having a graduate degree that is perhaps best described as “eclectic,” I took a number of classes outside the standard history curriculum. Now, I was not the only one—one student commuted to the state veterinary school to take a course on “Equines and Man” that was a history of horses, mules, and donkeys, and we had people in the business and hard sciences courses. However, I was the only one who ended up learning surveying and how to measure stream flow. Continue reading

Hiawatha – 2018 Edition. “Liawatha” by Tom Kratman.

I wrote 4000 words on Merchant and Empire yesterday, and the end of the book is in sight. My brain is fried, therefore I present a little something by Col. Tom Kratman. Language warning for the poem, so it is below the fold. Yes, it is very political.

The Song of Hiawatha is a 19th century epic poem based on actual mythology from the Indians near the Great Lakes. Although people make fun of it, Longfellow’s poem is a great story, although the ending is a little strange for modern readers. It, and Evangeline have been parodied many times.

However, during this election season, the poem serves as a wonderful setting for, well, you’ll see. The opening of the original’s second section: Continue reading